The Dry film: Eric Bana on his bond with regional Victoria and taking pictures on location

These nation landscapes of regional Victoria, the craggy shapes of the bush and the open areas of the tinder dry fields, are splashed all around the display screen of bush noir The Dry, Bana’s newest movie, tailored from Jane Harper’s best-selling novel.

The attraction of the movie is as a lot in regards to the vivid, moody sense of place it evokes as it’s the mysterious deaths that drive the plot of the movie.

Shot within the Mallee Wimmera area of northwest Victoria, it’s the stand-in for the fictional hometown of Bana’s character Aaron, a Melbourne-based federal cop who returns residence for the funeral of his childhood pal.





There are questions across the deaths and the tensions current within the stricken city – some lengthy simmering, some introduced on by the devastating drought – threaten to tear it aside.

“There may be one other model of this movie that exists 50 minutes outdoors of a metropolitan space the place you possibly can cheat it and nonetheless make an important film, however you wouldn’t see the film that you just’ll see,” Bana advised

“I don’t like being indoors in a studio. Areas actually bleed into your character, your efficiency and your vitality. It’s actually particular.”

Bana, 52, stated he was partly drawn to The Dry due to Harper’s depiction of regional Australia in her ebook.

“It’s the regional Australia that I recognise, not the outback. I actually spend a number of trip within the regional areas on my motorbike, so a number of these locations are locations I’ve spent a good bit of time in and simply love. I really feel very keen about it.

“So, I had a really emotional response to the fabric because of this.

“Then, clearly, if you’re embedded there [filming], you get into the rhythms of nation life, although you’re working. You’re distant and also you’re having these stunning one-hour-and-15-minute drives from the little city that you just’re staying in, to the city that you just’re taking pictures in every day, experiencing the dawn and the sundown and the great thing about it. It will get below your pores and skin.

“It was a serious adjustment coming again to life in Melbourne after that, and lockdown was even more durable because of having hung out within the area. I used to be dying to get again on the market, into the areas.”

He was fast so as to add, “I behaved myself, I didn’t break any guidelines. However, boy, oh, boy, there was a few vanishing-point moments!”

Bana had filmed The Dry, directed by his good pal Robert Connelly, in early 2019, earlier than the drought had damaged. If there was one upside to that, it was these parched, brittle landscapes appeared wonderful on the massive display screen.

It’s a scale that’s breathtaking on a cinema display screen, an expertise that may’t be replicated on a TV display screen at residence, not to mention in your cell phone.

The Dry, like so many movies in 2020, was initially supposed for launch earlier, in its case in April. Because the world locked down and cinemas shuttered, an August date was mooted earlier than deciding on January 1, historically a busy moviegoing time of the yr which might normally be crowded with Hollywood blockbusters.

However with coronavirus instances escalating in massive markets together with the US and the UK and large motion pictures additional pushed, The Dry finds itself in an enviable place in that it’s solely up in opposition to Marvel Lady 1984 when it comes to a high-profile competitor.

“We now have this unimaginable alternative on January to open at a time with out there being 10 American blockbusters in the identical week,” Bana stated.

Additionally, as an Australian movie, the choice to launch it in cinemas now was not being made by executives in Los Angeles whose priorities are firmly centered on the US.


Whereas the specter of a second wave in Higher Sydney has made audiences reticent to flock to a cinema, the remainder of the nation is open for enterprise, and for moviegoing.

Although most worldwide tentpole motion pictures have been withheld these previous 9 months, Australians have had the fortune to pattern smaller, unbiased fare but additionally a smattering of native movies.

These native releases in the course of the pandemic, together with Rams, Babyteeth and the upcoming Penguin Bloom, have been a reminder why it’s so necessary that there’s a strong Australian display screen tradition.

“I feel by about midway via 2021, there’s a fairly spectacular runway of Australian movies that’s being launched and we’re the primary of them,” Bana stated. “It’s why I actually hope for a lot of causes our movie is a big success. I hope it paves a means to assist with these different releases.

“I’m hoping that the business will look again on itself and say, ‘hey, Australian audiences actually heat to those tasks’. They’re authentic items of fabric of actually top quality which have a broad viewers in thoughts.

“Let’s see if folks flock to them and in the event that they do, there’s a reassessment [of the local industry] hopefully.”

Up-and-comer actor Joe Klocek, who performs a youthful model of Bana’s character Aaron in The Dry, agreed that the pandemic has highlighted the worth of the native display screen business.

“One factor we’ve learnt from the pandemic is that Australia can maintain its personal. We’re creating a number of nice work,” Klocek stated.

“And I feel the pandemic has truly made the remainder of the world realise that we’re a useful asset to have. That’s one factor I’m actually enthusiastic about when The Dry comes out. I hope folks get to cinemas and see it as a result of it simply says, ‘That is what we will do, have a look at this’.”

Bana added the attract of Harper’s ebook will hopefully show to be a promoting level for moviegoers in supporting a neighborhood manufacturing.

“We at all times thought that there could possibly be an enormous viewers for Jane Harper’s ebook. It was our job to try to make the largest cinematic model to try to lure folks into the cinema.

“Each choice made on that movie is made with a giant display screen in thoughts, proper all the way down to the sound and all the things. That’s what we need to be a part of.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *